Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Enjoying Friends, Family and Cooler Temps Along the CA Coast

Blogger is having issues with posting photos so these small ones are all I can get today.

Our last day in Morro Bay we ventured north to Cambria for lunch. A cute little town between the pine-covered hills, it is one of those places where nice galleries, artisan shops, and good local eateries have managed to keep out the tourist-trap-tee-shirt vendors. We found a popular outdoor patio to enjoy a tasty meal and people watching.

We took our time going back and found out we had missed a friend from high school and her husband :-(  Also found out it was her cousin who cancelled their reservation, giving us the spot for the extra days - true serendipity!!

But we weren't without visitors. Bill's cousin and her husband were in Cambria and on their way south so they stopped by for a quick visit. They ate at the same place we did, only four hours later - starting to get strange?  Then the brother of the first friend, also a high school friend, stopped by on his motorcycle on his way to the rest of the family......so cool!!

No, I didn't think to get a single dang photo :-(((

Sunday morning we were on the road by 8 AM so we could drop off the rig at our next stop and then meet our nieces and nephews in Santa Cruz.

We are almost always the only motorhome on the road before 10 AM......I feel like we're breaking some code. I expect the email any day now telling us we have to pay a fine.

So the trip is uneventful until we get off the freeway. The big GPS (Randy) and the IPhone GPS are at odds. I say let's take the closest route because we're in a hurry.  Randy doesn't like this and starts screaming that there is an RV weight violation ahead. Very disconcerting. I see No Trucks signs ahead and bail on that route.  We take the other route. We are coming to an intersection and one GPS says turn right while the other says turn left - seriously?  The roads are narrow, with low hanging branches smacking the roof. I don't like it. The park doesn't answer the phone when I call for their directions. Bill assures me the next right will get us there on a "bigger" road.

He's right and even though the short road to the park is tight we do find it easily from there. Mostly permanents at the Uvas Pines RV Park, a very small place with lots of beautiful trees. Our site backs to a large golden hill, our neighbors' sites are neat and clean. We're there five minutes before we head out in Sprocket.



The drive over Hecker Pass is beautiful, and even with the short construction delay we make it to Hwy 1 quickly. Sunday traffic is stop and go all the way to our exit. Sunday parking is non-existent so we bite the budget bullet and pay $20 for a spot across from the restaurant where 9 of our family members are waiting for us.

It is always a treat to spend time with Wayne's kids and grandkids, and this time is no different. A nice lunch and time by the beach (no doggies so we hang out near the pier), goes by quickly and all too soon we're headed back to Morgan Hill.

Again, didn't think to take a single pic. Borrowed this one from Jessica's FB post (thanks niecey), to prove we were there.


The delays through the pass are much longer now.


 
But when you're driving through a beautiful forest you really don't mind sitting there for a little while and just soaking it all in.



We tucked Sprocket in the trees at the back of our site, made a light dinner and went to bed early.

 


Monday we relaxed at the site, reading and doing a little housekeeping. Made a quick trip for groceries, discovering a very easy, RV-friendly route straight to Hwy 101. WTH? I swear the GPS gods have it out for us.

Yesterday we get back on Hwy 101 heading north at a code-approved 10 AM. We re-route to miss driving through San Francisco, and cross the bay on the Richmond Bridge. After we pay the outrageous toll of $20 because we're towing. If we had driven separately it would have been $5 for each vehicle. My disgust is rapidly replaced by acrophobia. 

We climb at least 5 miles straight up on a narrow strip of concrete that is swaying in the 100 mph gusts over churning seas filled with boulders.......until the deep breathing starts to work and we're back on a very solid, very wide roadway with a steel cage wrapped around it, over a lovely bay dotted with a few rugged islands. 

That phobia stuff is no joke (until later of course).

I've been to Bodega Bay several times, Bill and I have been here a couple years ago, and the route from Novato is all familiar territory. I've even been to this RV park before. Which doesn't mean that I go straight when Randy says to turn right. Poor Bill has to endure another "burst of excitement" until I remember there's a pull-off just around the corner of the little road.

We knew when we made the reservation that our site was narrow, but it was the only one available for the duration of our stay. Fortunately I get a kick out of backing into spaces, and with Bill's clear directions we're in with one try.

As the winds pick up we're happy to be tucked away with a hill behind us and a small view of the marina.




Tradition dictates (the BFF and I always do this when we're here) that we stop at Spud's Point for a cup of clam chowder to enjoy overlooking the water at Bodega Head. So that's what we do.



Today we're off to explore one of my favorite places in California. While much of the state is under heat warnings, it's 48 degrees this morning.


Life is good.



 

21 comments:

  1. Sounds like you are doing great handling that big old beast! You'll be an old hand at it in no time! Enjoy those coastal breezes!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! Some trips she's bigger than others :-) Loving the sweatshirt weather.

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  2. We were in SF on Monday. Good thing we brought a jacket :-) It's amazing how big of a temperature difference there is between the valley and the coast.
    Backed in in one shot = great!!

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    1. We love this cooler weather - definitely the place to be right now!

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  3. Unless we're on an Interstate highway, I rarely trust any GPS. If you have two, they are always at odds. And my "navigator" isn't really good at reading maps. I mean, he grew up on a small island with a couple of roads. What maps? Steven would follow the GPS until we drove off a cliff, I ignore it until we reach the end of the earth. With us, it's tricky, but somehow we always get where we need to be!

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    1. Since I can look at GoogleEarth and see most of a route I like to do that before we depart, however things like weight limits don't have big flags visible from above so that was a new one for us. The wrong hwy would be one thing, but the thing only screws up on the little, narrow, critical roads!

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  4. I can see why that is one of your favorite places. No view is as great as an ocean view. Enjoy it while you can. And, you aren't the only RV on the road before 10AM. When we're heading out it's usually pretty early to avoid traffic on a weekend. If we're around a big city, we usually wait until work traffic subsides.

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    1. Oh good, I won't worry about the code-enforcers so much :-))) I'm very glad we waited until later on Tuesday, almost no traffic through the crowded bay area.

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  5. Sounds like a very enjoyable time! Cooler is nice. Quite hot here in Placerville. We'll be heading out, slowly, towards Idaho next week. We use our truck's GPS and my iPhone. Yes, they do argue sometimes. I try to scope the route ahead on my phone to get a good feel for it before those arguments happen ;-)

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    1. Glad you're heading north and getting out of that heat! I'd love to see how a GPS is programmed.....and why they can be so different :-(

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  6. You guys are sounding like seasoned travelers already! Eric is always chomping at the bit to get us up and going early -- but I never seem to be ready to roll until 10 a.m. Ahhhh those cool coastal breezes sound wonderful….

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    1. Fortunately we both have similar schedules, but since I prefer to get to our destination early in the day I'm usually the one "setting" the time :-) We'll feel more seasoned once we figure out all the systems with confidence!

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  7. Forgetting to take photos of family and friends happens to us a lot! Company shows up and we start gabbing. Next thing we know, they are gone, and we totally forgot to take pictures. :)

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    1. I keep saying we need a note on the Jeep to remember certain things, so I guess there should be one on the outside of the MH door that says "Remind me to take your picture!"

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  8. Life is good, very good! We wish you both all the best as you start this incredible part of your life!

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  9. You aren't alone at the early hours on the road. There seems to be two groups of RVers...the before 8:00ers (which we don't like parking next to) and the 10:00ers (which we seem to be in most of the time). Since we generally only like to travel less than 200 miles, we aren't in a huge hurry usually.

    Glad you found some cooler temps. It sure is heating up across the country. Looks like you are in a perfect location:)

    You might want to try using Google street view before you hit the road so you can actually drive the route you are taking and see what the roads look like. John always does this prior to our departure. He can then see exactly what turns look like, the surface and the size of the road, and local land marks so we know where the turns are. Many time the Google car has driven right into the park. It has saved us many times and made our journey more pleasant knowing what is ahead. We never use the GPS. John generally prints a copy of the directions that he has just traveled which helps with remembering which side of the road the exit is on. Just thought I'd share what we have learned after five years on the road:) But we all have our own comforts for travel:)

    Sounds like you are enjoying the beginning of this life on the road:)

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    1. Thanks for that good info Pam, I'll check it out for sure. I've used GoogleEarth to follow a route, but where trees cover the road I've had trouble seeing if the road narrows or if those trees are hanging very low.

      Our next few stops are less than 150 mile travel days which makes me very happy - I'm preparing to join the 10:00ers!

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    2. Jodee, when you go to Google Earth take that little man by the size buttons and click and drag him to which road you want to drive. You will have a real live street view as the Google car drove that road so you will be actually right on the road just as if you are driving so the trees won't be in the way. It is way cool!! We saw the Google car in Kingston, Ontario while we were waiting for the ferry.

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  10. I'm with John & Pam on Google Street View. You've probably heard me say how much I HATE GPS even one of them. They are too often wrong. That said, what's the one you have that cautioned you about RV weight limits? I might try that one. Low bridges and weight limits are tricky things to find out. I am amazed at your facility with your rig. 35' right? Your temperatures sound wonderful. That elevation will do it every time.

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    1. The GPS is the Rand McNally RV GPS that Camping World sells. It routes around weight and height limits (you program your rig info), and advises you enroute when there is a steep decent, changes in speed limits, some construction, narrow bridges......that part has worked well.
      The rig is still a lot to drive and I'd be happier if it felt more stable to me - but I do feel very confident getting it in and out of tight places. Still, I can't ride a bike or row a canoe worth a damn......

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